Hdloise, By Enid Macleod. (Chatto and Windue, 12s. 6d.). Reviewed by ELIZABETH WELCH.
MISS MACLEOD justifies once again Lord Byron's oft-quoted dictum. Abelard, once things began to go wrong, placed his career _first; Heloise put Abelard even before God. While giving Ahelard full value as a teacher and philosopher. Miss Macleod shows that, at any rate, after the tragic revenge, he was for litany years completely selfcentred, thinking only of his shame, Ms loss. He seems, through his love songs to Heloise, to have had fans like a flint star, who gathered outside his lodgings to groan over his disaster. It was his "public" he tried to avoid when he fled to a monastery with his shame at being now less than a man.
But Heloise was of greater stuff. Her nobility is justification of a classical education. She acted without hope, hecoming a great prioress, not. as she says for love of God, but for love of Abelard. She tried be dissuade him from marrying her because babies and philosophers do not go well together. "And who will be able to tolerate the perpetual and disgusting uncleanness of very small children ? "—no doubt she was an undomesticated woman! Miss Macleod's translations are admirable, so that there is no thought of other ages in Heloiseni expression of her love. Indeed, Heloiee's greatness is, as the author says, "out of time."
Perhaps Miss Macleod makes too much use of her researches at times, as in the rather wearisome account of the litigations concerning the ownership of Argentenil. But she shows clearly that Heloise was more than Abelard's partner in a love tragedy so publicised both by his songs and his uncle's revenge That is ended before a third of the book. and it is after that that Heloise already famous for her learning, blossoms to fullness.
The notes and references are mercifully at the end